Something strange is going on in the Midwestern town of Hypothermia. After a strange vehicle is found inside of a grain elevator, journalists Bob Putnam and Lenny Pinne are sent to cover the story. Never in their wildest dreams could they have possibly imagined the situations they would encounter. Two alien races — the Veggians and the Omnians — are currently on Earth. One is investigating an unsanctioned wormhole, while the other is planning an invasion. The American government has been surreptitiously led to believe there will be an attack but as things become jumbled it is unclear which race is the real threat.
Z is for Xenophobe is hilarious. The title of the book itself provides a hint to the author’s sense of humor. The alien spaceships are designed after classic cars so they do not stand out so much. When the aliens take on human form they appear as old movie stars such as John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. The aliens’ inability to comprehend English slang or figures of speech is priceless. It is evident the author spent a great deal of time choosing the perfect words to describe events, often creating words from popular politicians’ names. In fact, the entire book could be considered a satire about American politics and how the rest of the world perceives its leadership.
Xenophobe is the first book in a series, and I must admit I truly enjoyed reading it. I had a difficult time getting into the story at first due to the strange names of the alien characters and the action skipping around between subplots. However, as things began to be tied together after a few chapters, I became engrossed. I appreciated the vivid descriptions of the characters which allowed me to picture in my mind how they appeared.
This book could be considered both science fiction and adventure. The story is appropriate for anyone aged thirteen-years and older. However, young readers will not likely understand the political humor. The combination of action, suspense, and mystery takes the plot to a much higher level. I am really looking forward to the next book in Terry Faust’s series.
(Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views)